Wednesday, April 17, 2019

WXW: 16 Carat Gold Tournament 2019 - Night One Review

WXW 16 Carat Gold Tournament - Night One
March 8th, 2019

I haven't ever watched a full WXW show. Only one-off matches and comps for reviewing purposes. So, this is a totally new venture and I'm stoked on it. This tournament is a yearly thing that everyone from El Generico (Sami Zayn) to Shingo Takagi to Chris Hero to Zack Sabre Jr has won and this year is equally stacked with big names. You've got WALTER, who has been a staple in WXW for a long time and is currently working there along with WWE's NXT UK camp. You've got a Japan all-star Daisuke Sekimoto. Lucha standouts Pentagon Jr, Fenix, and Rey Horus. The list goes on and on so let's get right into it.

1) Axel Dieter Jr vs. Marius Al-Ani - First Round Match

Axel Dieter Jr is another talent pulling double duty as he also competes for NXT. This is his first singles match in WXW since 2017 so it's a pretty big deal. With that in mind, the crowd was hot for this opening match and it got the show off to a good start with Axel picking up the win and starting his march towards one of the things he never achieved - a 16 Carat tournament victory.

Match rating - ***

2) Fenix vs. Rey Horus - First Round Match

You may expect these two to go all out since that has become their staple, but they don't here. That is not a bad thing, though because they still killed it. Just in a sprint fashion rather than trying to have a blow out match two matches into a tournament. You get what you want from a match involving these two including a number of breathtaking exchanges, but they leave you wanting more and with Fenix advancing, I'm sure we will get some more in-depth craziness later down the line. 

Match rating - ***1/4

3) Shigehero Irie vs. Chris Brookes - First Round Match

IRIE IS A MONSTER. And he killed it here. Brookes played his part pretty well, but things never really got kicked into a super high gear. I don't think that was really their end game, though. This was more of a display for Irie and it worked just fine. 

Match rating - **3/4

4) Timothy Thatcher vs. Lucky Kid - First Round Match

Pre-match video package with a gruff looking Thatcher hitting us with the tag line - "I'd rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in." Thatcher feels left behind by Axel & WALTER, his former partners. He didn't get signed. He's still independent and grinding it out and this year, it's all about him and he's taking the 16 carat trophy. So, into this match he goes, brutalizing a vastly smaller opponent in Lucky Kid. Lucky tries everything from comedy to speed to get ahead but is shut down, until he catches Thatcher off guard and reverses out of a chokehold into a pinning combo for the shocking victory. The grief on Thatcher's face is insane. 

Match rating - ***1/2

5) Avalanche vs. Jurn Simmons - Falls Count Anywhere - First Round Match

Thanks to WXW's excellent video work, I got caught up on the backstory that led to this contest that saw Avalanche & Simmons battle through the catacombs of the building this event was held in. This felt like an old school Raw Falls Count Anywhere match. There's no *BIG* spots, but the finish is pretty cool. 

Match rating - **1/2

6) Pentagon Jr vs. Mark Davis - First Round Match

Love Penta and heard good things about Davis, but this sorta flopped. Not that it's bad, it just never kicked out of low gear and catch my attention til the last minute or two. Penta wins.

Match rating - **

7) Daisuke Sekimoto vs. Ilja Dragunov - First Round Match

Sekimotooooooooo. I'm a mark for him so I'm stoked for this. Dragunov & he have had killer matches before so this was solid. It's nothing crazy and really just a basic match from the two however it's their thing so it was good. Lariats and head drops in between various power struggles and holds. Dragunov puts out Sekimoto when all is said and done and I am sad :-(

Match rating - ***

8) WALTER vs. David Starr - First Round Match

In 2019, David Starr is my favorite promo. From the ROH video that got pulled to this heart wrenching plea/declaration about his desire to defeat WALTER and how it keeps him up at night because he's never done it despite having 10-20 times to do so. David Starr is up fucking next. I remember first seeing him in Beyond Wrestling years ago and he was good then, but this is next level and so is this match. He rushes WALTER from the bell and keeps that fire & desperation throughout the match. WALTER remains all business, cold, and ruthless. You can tell it just gets under his skin that Starr won't just take his beating. There was good drama here and a lot of moments where you thought it was about to be over. The outcome isn't what anyone wanted, but it leaves the door open for another match in the future and paired with Starr's post match rant where he appeared mental, I'm dying to see what happens next. AWESOME match here. My favorite Indie contest I've seen so far in 2019. Watch this.

Match rating - ****

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